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HELTONVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A popular recreation area in southern Indiana has grown larger thanks to a yearslong collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service and a conservation group.

The Sycamore Land Trust bought 14 acres of hilly, tree-lined land during a 2014 property tax sale. That plot is now part of the Hoosier National Forest’s Hardin Ridge Recreation Area after national forest officials obtained federal funding to buy the tract.

The new acreage increases public access to Lake Monroe at the 1,200-acre recreational area that’s just southeast of Bloomington and abuts the national forest’s northern boundary.

Hoosier National Forest spokeswoman Andrea Crain tells The Herald-Times the land also helps fill in one of many gaps in the national forest, which covers a patchwork of more than 204,000 acres extending south to the Ohio River.


Information from: The Herald Times,